Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/24/2021 09:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
09:03:34 AM Start
09:04:10 AM Consideration of the Governor's Appointees to the Professional Teaching Practices Commission
09:24:16 AM SB72
09:52:53 AM SB111
09:55:54 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Danette Peterson, Governor's TELECONFERENCED
Appointee to the Professional Teaching Practices
Commission
+= SB 6 RIP FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES/TEACHERS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 3/22/2021>
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
+= SB 72 SEC. SCHOOL CIVICS EDUCATION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 72(EDC) Out of Committee
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 3/22/2021>
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 24, 2021                                                                                         
                           9:03 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Roger Holland, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Gary Stevens, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                                    
Danette Peterson - Fairbanks                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 72                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to civics  education, civics  examinations, and                                                               
secondary school  graduation requirements;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 72(EDC) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 111                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to  the duties of  the Department  of Education                                                               
and Early  Development; relating  to public schools;  relating to                                                               
early  education   programs;  relating   to  funding   for  early                                                               
education programs; relating to  school age eligibility; relating                                                               
to reports by the Department  of Education and Early Development;                                                               
relating   to   reports   by  school   districts;   relating   to                                                               
certification and  competency of teachers; relating  to assessing                                                               
reading deficiencies and  providing reading intervention services                                                               
to  public  school  students   enrolled  in  grades  kindergarten                                                               
through three;  relating to textbooks  and materials  for reading                                                               
intervention  services; establishing  a  reading  program in  the                                                               
Department  of  Education  and  Early  Development;  relating  to                                                               
school  operating   funds;  relating   to  a   virtual  education                                                               
consortium; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - ADOPTED  AS SENATE  EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE  BILL FOR                                                               
INTRODUCTION TO THE SENATE                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  72                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEC. SCHOOL CIVICS EDUCATION                                                                                       
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) STEVENS                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/05/21       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/05/21       (S)       EDC, CRA                                                                                               
03/10/21       (S)       EDC AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/10/21       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/10/21       (S)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/19/21       (S)       EDC AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/19/21       (S)       -- Invited & Public Testimony --                                                                       
03/22/21       (S)       EDC AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/22/21       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
03/24/21       (S)       EDC AT 9:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 111                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EARLY EDUCATION; READING INTERVENTION                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): EDUCATION                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
DANETTE PETERSON, Appointee                                                                                                     
Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                                      
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as  the governor's appointee to the                                                             
Professional Teaching Practices Commission.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
TIM LAMKIN, Staff                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT: Explained  the committee  substitute for  SB
72.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
JULIE TRUSKOWSKI, State Coordinator                                                                                             
We The People                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 72.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVID NEES, representing self                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of SB 72.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOANNA WASSILLIE, representing self                                                                                             
White Mountain, Alaska                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of SB 72.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE HUTCHISON, representing self                                                                                          
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of SB 72.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:03:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ROGER   HOLLAND  called  the  Senate   Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 9:03  a.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order were Senators Stevens, Begich,  Hughes, Micciche, and Chair                                                               
Holland.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^Consideration of  the Governor's Appointees to  the Professional                                                               
Teaching Practices Commission                                                                                                   
 Consideration of the Governor's Appointees to the Professional                                                             
                 Teaching Practices Commission                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:04:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HOLLAND  announced  the confirmation  hearing  of  Danette                                                               
Peterson to Professional Teaching Practices Commission.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:04:37 AM                                                                                                                    
DANETTE  PETERSON,  Appointee,  Professional  Teaching  Practices                                                               
Commission, Fairbanks, Alaska, said her  name was put forward for                                                               
the  Professional Teaching  Practices  Commission  (PTPC) by  the                                                               
Fairbanks Education  Association. She  is from Chicago,  earned a                                                               
Juris  Doctor  degree, practiced  law  in  Chicago for  about  11                                                               
years, and  then got a  teaching certificate and  master's degree                                                               
as  reading  specialist  and literacy  coach.  Education  is  her                                                               
second career, but it has always been a passion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON  said she has  taught middle school and  high school                                                               
and gifted  education. She  is now at  Hutchinson High  School, a                                                               
career and technical  education (CTE) program. She has  been a BP                                                               
teacher of  the year nominee for  four years. She coaches  We the                                                               
People and  is involved with  speech and debate and  other school                                                               
activities. She has served on  district committees and is part of                                                               
the   University  of   Alaska  Fairbanks   School  of   Education                                                               
accreditation committee.  She has served in  different roles with                                                               
the Fairbanks  Education Association.  She received an  NEA grant                                                               
for  an   early  career  education  mentoring   program  for  new                                                               
teachers.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON  said that as  an educator,  it is her  mission that                                                               
students enter  communities as  active, informed  citizens, which                                                               
is a key  aspect of maintaining any democracy.  This means giving                                                               
back to  the community. In  her classes, students do  not debate.                                                               
They discuss civilly.  She wants students and  colleagues to feel                                                               
empowered.   In   the   education  profession,   all   must   act                                                               
professionally,  including  monitoring  and  discipling  its  own                                                               
members.  No one  relishes  disciplining a  fellow  members of  a                                                               
profession, but  at times it is  required in order to  uphold the                                                               
high  standards required  of the  profession and  to benefit  the                                                               
children of  Alaska. All nine  members of  the PTPC act  with one                                                               
common goal, to provide the  best education possible for Alaska's                                                               
children. She  interviewed with the governor's  staff just before                                                               
the  pandemic  hit.  So  much   has  changed.  The  pandemic  has                                                               
presented  new challenges  and new  opportunities.  PTPC may  see                                                               
unique cases  because of the  pandemic. Educators should  seek to                                                               
preserve  the best  aspects of  teaching that  resulted from  the                                                               
pandemic. Some  children who did  not thrive  in brick-and-mortar                                                               
classrooms succeeded with virtual  learning. The pandemic shone a                                                               
light  on  diverse needs  met  by  educational institutions.  She                                                               
hopes to use her legal  and educational background to benefit the                                                               
children of Alaska and all members of the state.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLLAND noted  that she has an impressive resume  and is an                                                               
accomplished  attorney  and  educator  with awards  and  a  grant                                                               
recipient.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS shared that this  is one of the finest interviews                                                               
he has heard.  He appreciates her change of heart  in leaving law                                                               
and  enter  teaching.   The  PTPC  is  crucial   and  can  remove                                                               
certifications  from teachers.  She understands  those issues  of                                                               
discipline. He is comfortable hearing that she can do the job.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  shared that  she was  impressed with  her resume.                                                               
The Education  Committee will be  hearing SB 72  regarding civics                                                               
education and  Ms. Peterson has  done many activities  related to                                                               
civics, especially with We the  People. She asked if Ms. Peterson                                                               
has had chance to look at SB  72 and has any insight about civics                                                               
education in the state.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. PETERSON said she has not looked  at SB 72 but a year ago she                                                               
was a member of the  curriculum committee that rewrote the social                                                               
studies  curriculum   in  Fairbanks.   The  committee   moved  to                                                               
competencies and  not just standards.  The committee spent  a lot                                                               
of  time looking  at  civics because  surveys  showed the  public                                                               
wanted it  addressed more  fully in  this political  climate. The                                                               
committee rewrote curriculum  to infuse civics in  each and every                                                               
course  taught,  not  just  government,   so  that  students  see                                                               
examples of how  to be engaged in civics. That  means bringing in                                                               
guest speakers,  such as Alaska  Supreme Court Judge  Sue Carney.                                                               
Hutchinson High  School was set  to participate in We  the People                                                               
nationally   before   the   pandemic.  Hutchinson   High   School                                                               
participates  in Kids  Voting,  We the  People, National  History                                                               
Day.  It has  to be  way of  life and  a habit  and not  a single                                                               
course.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLLAND called on Senator Stevens.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:20:49 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS moved to recommend  Ms. Peterson's appointment to                                                               
the PTPC be forwarded to a joint session for consideration.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:21:05 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:21:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND asked Senator Stevens to withdraw his motion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:21:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS withdrew his motion.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:21:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HOLLAND opened  public  testimony  and after  ascertaining                                                               
there was none, closed public testimony. He solicited a motion.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:21:55 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS stated that in  accordance with AS 39.05.080, the                                                               
Senate Education  Standing Committee  reviewed the  following and                                                               
recommends the  appointment be forwarded  to a joint  session for                                                               
consideration:                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Professional Teaching Practices Commission                                                                                      
Danette Peterson - Fairbanks                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  HOLLAND   reminded  members   that  signing   the  reports                                                               
regarding  appointments  to  boards  and commissions  in  no  way                                                               
reflects  individual  members'  approval or  disapproval  of  the                                                               
appointees;  the nominations  are  merely forwarded  to the  full                                                               
legislature for confirmation or rejection.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:22:30 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
               SB  72-SEC. SCHOOL CIVICS EDUCATION                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:24:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND  announced the consideration  of SB 72  SENATE BILL                                                               
NO. 72                                                                                                                          
"An Act  relating to civics  education, civics  examinations, and                                                               
secondary school  graduation requirements;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective  date." He  noted that  the committee  had adopted  the                                                               
committee substitute (CS)  for SB 72, work  order 32-LS0478\B, as                                                               
the working  document and  had heard  public testimony.  He asked                                                               
the bill sponsor, Senator Stevens, for any comments.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:24:33 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:24:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEVENS  said that the  committee substitute  removes the                                                               
need  to  pass  an  exam  that students  will  take.  It  directs                                                               
Department of  Education and Early Development  (DEED) to develop                                                               
a  unique, Alaskan  civics curriculum  and  assessment. The  bill                                                               
recognizes  the  importance  of including  Alaska  Native  tribal                                                               
governance systems in the educational program.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  shared that she  preferred the  previous version.                                                               
She  is just  concerned about  a teacher  with students  who know                                                               
they don't  have to pass a  test they take. She  hopes that won't                                                               
be  a problem  for teachers.  If  students take  some courses  as                                                               
freshmen, they might have trouble with  taking a test a few years                                                               
later. The committee  heard one of most  passionate speeches from                                                               
Commissioner  Johnson  about  how  necessary this  bill  is,  and                                                               
holding students more  accountable for passing the  test would be                                                               
better.  The  committee substitute  is  an  improvement over  not                                                               
having  civics education  at all.  She  understands the  feedback                                                               
from the districts.  The transcript will show  that students took                                                               
the test. She  wishes the transcript would  show whether students                                                               
passed or  failed the exam, even  if that would not  prevent them                                                               
from graduating.  Some students  might be  motivated by  pride if                                                               
they knew  it would show  up on  their transcripts. She  does not                                                               
want to  hand teachers a  problem, and some districts  may decide                                                               
to  grade the  test  and incorporate  it into  a  class. This  is                                                               
better than  the current status where  it is possible that  no or                                                               
minimal civics are taught.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS said  he appreciates her comments.  At first, his                                                               
office thought  it should  be a high-stakes  test but  his office                                                               
learned from communities that there  are some problems with that.                                                               
The  key part  of  the  committee substitute  is  that DEED  will                                                               
develop  curriculum  and an  assessment.  As  the committee  just                                                               
heard  from   the  Professional  Teaching   Practices  Commission                                                               
appointee, that  should be  presented throughout  the curriculum,                                                               
not just in one single class.  He asked Mr. Lamkin to explain how                                                               
his office decided to remove the high-stakes exam.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  said that  it  is  good  that  the end  of  bill                                                               
requires that  student performance on the  assessment by district                                                               
will be  reported to the  legislature. Even though  students will                                                               
not need a  certain grade to get a diploma,  the legislature will                                                               
learn how students are doing. That is a good feature.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:29:34 AM                                                                                                                    
TIM   LAMKIN,  Staff,   Senator   Gary   Stevens,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,  said that  the bill  reflects some                                                               
discussions with  the department, particularly  the commissioner,                                                               
and  concerns  about  high-stakes   exams.  This  seemed  like  a                                                               
reasonable approach, to  put a greater emphasis  on standards and                                                               
offer curriculum developed  by Alaskans, as well  as Alaska's own                                                               
unique  assessment.  That  assessment   will  be  taken  and  not                                                               
necessarily passed.  It will  first trigger  a review  of content                                                               
standards  on government  and citizenship  that  were adopted  in                                                               
2006. It is  timely to review and adjust them  accordingly and to                                                               
reflect the  system of  government for  the indigenous  people of                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES asked if Alaska  history or government is required                                                               
for graduation or is it a district decision.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LAMKIN  said  that  there  is  no  state  requirement.  Some                                                               
districts require it, but there is no state requirement.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MICCICHE said  he wanted to echo the  concerns of Senator                                                               
Hughes. He had  a recent conversation with  another senator about                                                               
getting a foot in the door  about something and proving its value                                                               
over time and getting to the point  of being able to test to know                                                               
that students are  retaining information. This goes  way back. He                                                               
read  a Forbes  article in  which Lincoln  talked about  teaching                                                               
children reverence  for the  Constitution and  its laws  less the                                                               
American democracy  degenerate into  what he  called "mobocratic"                                                               
rule. In Reagan's  farewell address he echoed  Lincoln and called                                                               
for  informed   patriotism.  The   article  also  spoke   to  the                                                               
generational divide. Seventy-four percent  of senior citizens can                                                               
pass the test  but only 19 percent of Americans  under the age of                                                               
45 can answer  even six of the 10 questions.  Part of division in                                                               
the  country is  based on  an essential  misunderstanding of  how                                                               
government works  and functions. It  causes part of  the mistrust                                                               
because  "we the  people" don't  understand the  power they  hold                                                               
because they don't understand the  workings of government itself.                                                               
It is incredibly  important and he is supportive of  the bill. He                                                               
does wish  the committee had pushed  for a test. He  will not get                                                               
in the  way of  the bill,  and maybe a  foot in  the door  is the                                                               
right path at this time.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLLAND called on invited testimony.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:33:39 AM                                                                                                                    
JULIE TRUSKOWSKI,  State Coordinator,  We The  People, Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska, thanked the committee for  the opportunity to speak about                                                               
the important  topic of reinvigorating civics  in public schools.                                                               
She  is a  retired,  Nationally-Board certified  teacher with  28                                                               
years of experience  in Alaska. She is the  state coordinator for                                                               
the  We  the  People  program.   It  is  a  nationally-recognized                                                               
curriculum from the nonpartisan  Center for Civics Education that                                                               
teaches   civics    competency   and    responsibility.   Several                                                               
legislators  have  served as  judges  in  the high  school  state                                                               
competition.  We the  People checks  off  quite a  few boxes  for                                                               
learning and assessing knowledge  of civics and the Constitution.                                                               
The  curriculum culminates  in  mock  Congressional hearings.  It                                                               
truly  is  educating  for  a  purpose. In  the  era  of  unfunded                                                               
mandates and austere  budgeting, We the People  is cost effective                                                               
in  that  it  already  exists  in  many  communities.  Around  25                                                               
communities in the  state already have We the  People material on                                                               
hand, from many schools in  the Anchorage and Fairbanks districts                                                               
to smaller schools. Those schools  should already have textbooks.                                                               
That  could be  useful  information as  legislators move  forward                                                               
with SB 72.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STEVENS asked  her about the issue of  the high-stakes vs                                                               
removing the need for a passing exam.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.   TRUSKOWSKI   answered   that   if  kids   know   there   is                                                               
accountability, they will up their  game. She agrees with Senator                                                               
Hughes. It is easy to  overlook something with no accountability.                                                               
That might be what happened with  civics education and why it has                                                               
fallen off  the radar. Social  studies in general is  an unfunded                                                               
mandate with no  accountability piece, so it  gets overlooked and                                                               
pushed  aside.  She  doesn't  necessarily like  the  idea  of  an                                                               
assessment that  is something like  questions on  the citizenship                                                               
test because  it promotes rote learning  instead of internalizing                                                               
knowledge and articulating  what has been learned,  which is what                                                               
We the People does.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:37:34 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES asked  if We the People is  an afterschool program                                                               
or done during  the school day. She asked if  any schools used We                                                               
the People as curriculum to meet government requirements.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. TRUSKOWSKI  said that at  the last national meeting  of state                                                               
coordinators for  We the People,  she learned that Florida  has a                                                               
civics  test  requirement  for graduation.  Nevada  recently  got                                                               
legislative  funding  for We  the  People  to  be taught  in  all                                                               
schools.  It  cannot  be  an  afterschool  program.  It  must  be                                                               
incorporated into  the curriculum. It  can be time  consuming but                                                               
it can be  tailored to shorter amounts of time.  She taught it in                                                               
sixth  grade and  used  one of  six units.  This  year the  state                                                               
competition  was virtual  and only  West Valley  High School  was                                                               
able to participate by using fewer components.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:40:17 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND opened public testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:40:27 AM                                                                                                                    
DAVID NEES,  representing self, Anchorage,  Alaska, said he  is a                                                               
retired teacher  who worked with  student councils for  years. He                                                               
is a  fan of the  civics bill. This is  a good bill.  Pulling the                                                               
citizenship  test  out  takes  the teeth  out  of  it.  Districts                                                               
usually say  it is unfunded  mandate. The argument is  whether to                                                               
make it  a stick or carrot.  Students could get civics  credit by                                                               
passing the citizenship  test, and it could be  regular credit if                                                               
they don't  take the test. It  could be an honors  course if they                                                               
do pass  the test. Another option  is to allow We  the People for                                                               
credit. These are ideas for carrots rather than sticks.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:42:27 AM                                                                                                                    
JOANNA  WASSILLIE,  representing  self, White  Mountain,  Alaska,                                                               
said that she  appreciated the comments of  Danette Peterson, the                                                               
Professional  Teaching Practices  Commission appointee  who spoke                                                               
earlier.  Ms.  Wassillie  is  a high  school  and  middle  school                                                               
language  arts  and  social  studies   teacher  who  is  teaching                                                               
government now.  She liked  what Ms.  Peterson said  about civics                                                               
being taught  across the curriculum, starting  in younger grades.                                                               
Civics  is   an  important  part  of   citizenship  and  personal                                                               
development. All seem  to agree that it needs to  be bolstered in                                                               
the state  and country.  To make  citizenship an  intrinsic value                                                               
and  strength  in the  state,  this  must  begin at  the  younger                                                               
grades.  As far as testing, her  worry about passing a test as an                                                               
alternative to taking a course is  that it would become more rote                                                               
learning  as  opposed  to  becoming  an  intrinsic  and  lifelong                                                               
practice  for  students.  That is  why  she  likes  incorporating                                                               
civics standards  across curriculum in  all grade levels.  She is                                                               
planning to look at using We the People next year.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:44:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE HUTCHISON, representing self,  Kenai, Alaska, said that                                                               
she is crazy about civics  education for children and adults. She                                                               
participated  with   the  local   school  board   social  studies                                                               
curriculum  committee twice.  Just teaching  to the  standards is                                                               
not sufficient. There must be  a requirement that this be taught.                                                               
She is going  to look into We  the People. She would  like to see                                                               
some type of  testing. Lowering standards for any  purpose is not                                                               
useful. If  people don't learn  and defend the  Constitution, the                                                               
country is  going to be in  a very sad state  as Senator Micciche                                                               
outlined. She  is hopeful that this  bill will become law.  It is                                                               
critical to  have a civics  education requirement. This  needs to                                                               
be pass. This is a feel-good, limited fiscal issue.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MICCICHE  said  he  has   talked  about  this  with  Ms.                                                               
Hutchinson. He  thanked her  for calling. He  would like  to know                                                               
what she  finds out about what  the district is doing  about this                                                               
topic  and  asked her  to  share  anything  she learns  with  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:48:52 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HOLLAND closed public testimony. He solicited a motion.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:49:27 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR   STEVENS  moved   to  report   the  proposed   committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)   for  SB  72,  work   order  32-LS0478\B,  from                                                               
committee,  with individual  recommendations and  attached fiscal                                                               
note(s). There  being no  objection, CSSB  72 (EDC)  was reported                                                               
from the Senate Education Standing Committee.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:49:49 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB 111-EARLY EDUCATION; READING INTERVENTION                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:52:53 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HOLLAND noted  the committee  had an  item to  address and                                                               
solicited a motion.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:53:05 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  STEVENS moved  that  the  committee approve  32-LS0485\W                                                               
[numbered SB 111]  as a Senate Education  Standing Committee bill                                                               
for introduction to the Senate.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:53:17 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  objected for  purposes  of  discussion. He  said                                                               
there are  a number  of different bills  before the  body dealing                                                               
with the general subject of the  power the chair would be granted                                                               
under this  motion to  introduce. Senator  Begich had  hoped that                                                               
the process  that the Senate  president had initiated  would have                                                               
led the committee  to a piece of legislation that  all members of                                                               
the committee could support. He has  seen a draft of the bill. He                                                               
has  identified a  number of  areas that  are deeply  problematic                                                               
that do  not reflect the  bills that were discussed  in committee                                                               
over four different hearings. This  bill is a committee bill, but                                                               
he  cannot support  the bill  at this  time. As  a member  of the                                                               
committee,  this bill  will have  his name  on it.  He wants  the                                                               
public to  know that he  does not support  the bill at  this time                                                               
and  will speak  to  why he  does  not support  the  bill as  the                                                               
committee goes  through the process  with the hope that  the bill                                                               
that finally comes out of this committee is one he can support.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:54:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH said he takes  his role on the committee seriously                                                               
as does  each committee  member. The  body represents  the senate                                                               
leadership with  the Senate president, minority  leader, majority                                                               
leader,  and  Rules  chair.  The  committee  has  identified  key                                                               
components  based  on  years  of   work.  He  doesn't  see  those                                                               
components in this bill. He withdrew his objection.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:55:33 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further objection the motion was adopted.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:55:54 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Holland adjourned the Senate Education Standing Committee                                                                 
at 9:55 a.m.                                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB072_Civics_BillText_versionB.pdf SEDC 3/24/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 72
SB072_Civics_Summary-of-Changes_Version A to B.pdf SEDC 3/24/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 72
CSSB72 Fiscal Note.pdf SEDC 3/24/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 72
Danette Peterson Resume_Redacted.pdf SEDC 3/24/2021 9:00:00 AM